‘Willy Wonka’ Kids-version Slated for March at North Shore Dance & Theater

CHICAGO (February 18, 2020) – Who can make kids laugh and sing? The Candy Man can!

Acclaimed Chicagoland fine arts company North Shore Dance & Theater proudly brings to the stage the family-favorite musical Willy Wonka, March 6, 7, and 8.

Based in the near-North suburb of Glenview, North Shore Dance & Theater’s presentation of the children’s edition of the renowned Roald Dahl’s classic story features two rotating casts performing in four showings over three days.

Adapted from Dahl’s blockbuster book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willy Wonka follows mysterious candy manufacturer as he stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whomever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats: the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket, who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory… or suffer the consequences.

Dahl’s scrumptious story was adapted into a 1971 film staring Gene Wilder as the eccentric candy maker. Willy Wonka Kids features enchanting songs from the 1971 film, and news songs by composer Leslie Bricusse (Jekyll & Hyde, Doctor Dolittle). Songs include “The Candy Man”, “Oompa-Loompa”, “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket”, and “At the Gates (Pure Imagination)”.

Performers in NSDT’s Willy Wonka range in age from 5-13, hailing from Glenview and Morton Grove. The creative and production staff includes Alisha Potter (Co-Producer & Costumer) of Glenview, Judy Smith (Co-Director, Co-Vocal Director) of Winnetka, Christina Hasty (Co-Director, Co-Vocal Director) of Evanston, and Anne Neumann (Co-Producer, Choreographer) of Skokie.

“The importance of children’s and family theater is so prevalent today,” explains Potter. “There are bountiful benefits to both performing in and attending theatrical events.”

In addition to her role at NSDT, Potter works within the public education system at School District 75 and is the published author of early-education materials. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education with minors in Dance and Drama, and a Master’s degree in Fine Arts.

According to research culled by children’s book publisher Scholastic, children who sing, dance, and act are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement compared with their non-performing friends.

Research by University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, published in Education Next, shows that attending live theater enhances literary knowledge, tolerance, and empathy among students.

“Theater is a world of make believe, where imaginations grow and flourish,” states Potter. “Children and their parents will have the time of their lives watching Willy Wonka Kids. It’s a show everyone will love.”

Willy Wonka Kids plays Friday, March 6 at 7 PM, Saturday, March 7 at 2 PM and 7 PM, and Sunday, March 8 at 2 PM on the NSDT Stage at Glenview United Methodist Church (727 Harlem Ave. in Glenview). The theater is handicap friendly and offers ample free parking.

Tickets prices are $11 for Adults and $9 for Children 12 & under. Group rates of $8 per ticket are available for parties of 12 or more. Tickets can be purchased online at https://www.tututix.com/client/northshoredanceandtheater/. Tickets will also be sold at the door thirty minutes prior to each show.

For additional information on Willy Wonka Kids, as well as details on classes and other performing opportunities, call North Shore Dance and Theater at (847) 715-8690 or go online to www.NorthShoreDanceAndTheater.com.

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